Purrfect Properties Blog

Is Your Family Prepared for an Emergency – Can you get through 72 hours without help?

Emergency Preparedness Week is a national awareness initiative that has taken place annually since 1996. It is a collaborative event undertaken by provincial and territorial emergency management organizations supporting activities at the local level, in concert with Public Safety Canada and partners. Emergency Preparedness Week encourages Canadians to take three simple steps to become better prepared to face a range of emergencies: Know the Risk, Make a plan, Get an emergency kit.

As Albertan’s most of us are familiar with just how quick disaster can happen in our province, as illustrated by last year flooding in the south of or province.  In the days leading up to June 20, 2013, Alberta, experienced heavy rainfall that triggered catastrophic flooding described by the provincial government as the worst in Alberta’s history. Areas along the Bow, Elbow, Highwood, Red Deer, Sheep, Little Bow, and South Saskatchewan rivers and their tributaries were particularly affected. A total of 32 states of local emergency were declared and 28 emergency operations centres were activated as water levels rose and numerous communities were placed under evacuation orders.  Four lives were lost, and over 100,000 people were displaced as a direct result of the flooding.  You may think that the Edmonton area can’t be effected like our neighbours to the south, however this is just not the case.  Floods can happen in our city due to a number of factors, including but not limited to; snow melt from plains or mountains, Rain fall, and Ice jams.  These three factors have the greatest effect on the population as a whole, as flooding from these factors generally effects a large area.

Alberta Environment monitors weather patterns, precipitation and provincial water levels and flows. The Environmental Monitoring and Evaluation Branch provides a comprehensive series of public advisories about potential flooding. These warnings are posted on the Alberta Environment website.  There are steps that you can take to ensure that you’re prepared for the possibility of flooding.  Know where to obtain sandbags, plywood, plastic sheeting and lumber to protect your house.  Remove any household effects you can. If this is not possible, move possessions from the basement to an upper floor.  Seal hazardous materials such as weed killers and insecticides in plastic garbage bags and move them into safe storage or dispose of them safely.  At the first warning of flooding, and if it is safe to do so, turn off electrical power and leave it off.  Following these steps will help to reduce the risk from any possible flooding.  Perhaps one of the best ways to avoid being affected by flooding is to purchase a home on higher ground.  Properties in low lying areas whether near a water source or not, have inherent flood risk, either due to melting snow pack, higher then normal rains, or broken underground pipes.  Floods can happen at anytime to almost any house, having a plan and discussing the plan with your family will help to ensure that your prepared in the event of a flood.  Don’t forget to include your furry family members in your flood planing.

The government of Canada, suggest that every household be prepared to survive with out assistance for a period of 72hr.  They have issued helpful information on their Get Prepared website, that will give you some of the information you need on making plans for dealing with disaster and how to make a preparedness kit. This Realtor has made a plan for herself and her kitties, have you?

And That’s The Cats’ Meow.